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Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery

Smith, Patricia; Johnson, Charles and the WGBH Series Research Team

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ISBN 10: 0151003394 / ISBN 13: 9780151003396
Published by Harcourt, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A., 1998
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

Stated first edition. A history of early African-America and slavery. Companion to the PBS series. With a Preface by Orlando Bagwell, Executive Producer of the series. Told in excerpted documents, letters, artifacts and illustrated with photos and other illustrations. Unread and as new in like DJ. 494 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 5170

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Africans in America: America's Journey ...

Publisher: Harcourt, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: 1st Edition.

Book Type: Book

About this title


The companion volume to the public television series. This extraordinary examination of slavery in americanca features a four-part history by poet and performance artist Patricia Smith and a dozen fictional narratives by National Book Award-winning novelist Charles Johnson. Two-color with black-and-white illustrations throughout.


This extraordinary book--the accompanying volume to the PBS series--looks at the history of slavery in the United States with an honesty that reveals both horror and heroism in the common humanity of all Americans. Uncovering the indigenous history of African slavery and the involvement of Arab and European nations, it then traces the journey of enslaved Africans across the "Middle Passage" of the Atlantic to the Caribbean and America. Charles Johnson's spellbinding fictional narratives beautifully evoke the feeling of times and places, such as the Haitian revolution or the plantation slave society. In "The Transmission," two captives in the bottom of a slave ship try to preserve their heritage. "Oboto quietly sang to his brother--in a language their captors could not understand--how their people long ago had navigated the New World ... on and on like a tapestry, Oboto unfurled their past, rituals, and laws in songs and riddles..."

Poet/journalist Patricia Smith's historical anecdotes and references to legendary African American heroes (including Olaudah Equiano, Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglass), juxtaposed with rare documents, letters, slave advertisements, slave-ship cargo diagrams, and paintings, provide evidence of the African American fight for freedom, from the black soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War to the Underground Railroad to the return to combat in the Civil War. When emancipation finally came, Smith writes, "the newly liberated slaves sang for themselves, for their new country, and for the thousands upon thousands of Africans ripped from the clutches of home." --Eugene Holley Jr.

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